Because I don’t want accept the fact one disaffected twerp can change the trajectory of history, I’ll probably go to my grave unconvinced that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
By the same token, you can find plenty of people who suspect the AIDS virus was a germ-warfare experiment, using blacks and gays as guinea pigs. This would be less far-fetched had the government not experimented on minority citizens before, as in the case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
The recent death of sex offender and accused child rapist Jeffrey Epstein, found hanged in his jail cell, has ignited a flurry of conspiracy theories because of his connection to many celebrities and power brokers; a who’s who of the people who really run this world, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
As a result, everyone from the Russians to the Corelones to “the government” have been named as possible suspects, though no evidence of foul play has emerged.
Your particular conspiracy theory probably depends on your politics. People who despise former President Bill Clinton point to his friendship with Epstein, one that abetted Clinton’s wandering eye and included more than two dozen rides on Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed “Air (F-word) One.”
There are those who would have you believe that a scorned Hillary Clinton had the motive and ability to have Epstein killed. She who couldn’t rig 80,000 votes to win the White House?
People who don’t like the current president point to the “big-cool-friend” remarks he had made about Epstein in the past and their numerous photos together, particularly a video showing Epstein, and a younger, thinner Donald Trump, dancing badly while ogling a bevy of young women.
In tweets, President Trump is playing footsie with the Hillary conspiracy. If anyone should know about conspiracies, it’s a man who accused his predecessor of being born in Kenya and implied Ted Cruz’s father might have taken part in the JFK assassination.
It appears to be human nature for us to latch onto conspiracy theories as a way to make sense of the world when things goes askew, but there is enough real stuff, and much closer to home. Epstein was in prison awaiting trial on charges he was a serial child rapist and trafficker of underage girls, but such crimes also occur in our communities.
A month doesn’t go by that some local yokel isn’t pinched for trying to arrange sex with a middle-age male cop posing online as a teenage girl.
According to the International Labor Organization and the Walk Free Foundation, human trafficking generates $150 billion in annual profits from the misery of 25 million entrapped people, 25% of whom are children. More than $90 billion of that amount is generated from prostitution.
Because of our good interstate system, Ohio is a hot spot for human trafficking for sex, and for slave labor at restaurants, meat-processing plants, cosmetology businesses and construction.
The Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force reports that 421 cases occurred in 2017 - a jump from 276 reported in 2016. Of those reported in 2017, 115 victims were identified as minors, 96 were immigrants and two were refugees.
We also know sex trafficking is prominent during sporting events. Last month, the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force netted 49 arrests of men soliciting sex in Cleveland during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Reach Charita at 330-580-8313. On Twitter: @cgoshayREP.